Questions form the core of both the learning experience and the teaching experience. Because of their importance in the educational enterprise, questions (i.e., their structure and use) should receive more attention from educators. The authors construct what they call productive questions (those questions that produce meaningful responses) and describe effective approaches for using them. They provide examples of productive questions from multiple disciplines and offer standard question formats, so that educators can create their own productive questions to use in their classrooms. The best practices and question formats that they present are applicable to any learning environment, be it small, discussion-focused classrooms; online courses; or large lecture style classes. The authors conclude by outlining next steps for educators to increase and assess the impact of questions in their classrooms.
Keywords: questions, types of questions, inquiry, critical thinking, student learning
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Daniel Anastasio and Ella L. Ingram, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology